Franz Weber, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Department: Neuroscience

Contact information
Department of Neuroscience,
Chronobiology Program,
Perelman School of Medicine,
University of Pennsylvania
10-132 Smilow Research Center
3400 Civic Center Blvd, Bldg 421
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-898-0254
B.Sc. (Bioinformatics)
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich / Technical University Munich, 2006.
M.Sc. (Neurosciences)
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, 2009.
PhD (Systemic Neurosciences)
Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, 2011.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests

We are interested in the neural and homeostatic mechanisms controlling REM sleep and the functional role of this brain state in emotional memories and behaviors.

Research Projects

We study REM sleep and its functional roles in the mouse model. Our lab employs a wide range of methods including optogenetics, in vivo electrophysiology, calcium imaging, viral tracing and quantitative modeling to disentangle the neural and homeostatic mechanisms controlling REM sleep. We further seek to develop a circuit-based understanding of how REM sleep affects emotional behaviors in health and disease.


Sleep, REM sleep, neural circuits, in vivo electrophysiology, calcium imaging, modeling, optogenetics, viral traching, Chronobiology, gene profiling

Selected Publications

Chung S, Weber F, Zhong P, Tan CL, Nguyen TN, Beier KT, Hörmann N, Chang WC, Zhang Z, Do JP, Yao S: Identification of preoptic sleep neurons using retrograde labelling and gene profiling. Nature May 2017.

Weber F, Dan Y : Circuit-based interrogation of sleep control. Nature 538: 51-59, Oct 2016.

Weber F, Chung S, Beier KT, Xu M, Luo L, Dan Y: Control of REM sleep by ventral medulla GABAergic neurons. Nature 526(7573): 435-8, Oct 2015.

Weber F, Machens CK: Sensory Coding, Efficiency. Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience. D. Jaeger, R. Jung (eds.). Springer Press, 2015.

Joesch M, Weber F, Eichner H, Borst A: Functional specialization of parallel motion detection circuits in the fly. The Journal of Neuroscience 33(3): 902-5, Jan 2013 Notes: Joesch M and Weber F are co-first authors.

Weber F, Machens CK, Borst A: Disentangling the functional consequences of the connectivity between optic-flow processing neurons. Nature Neuroscience 15(3): 441-8, Mar 2012.

Borst A, Weber F: Neural action fields for optic flow based navigation: a simulation study of the fly lobula plate network. PloS one 6(1): e16303, Jan 2011.

Weber F, Machens CK, Borst A: Spatiotemporal response properties of optic-flow processing neurons. Neuron 67(4): 629-42, Aug 2010 Notes: Evaluated by F1000,

Weber F, Eichner H, Cuntz H, Borst A: Eigenanalysis of a Neural Network for Optic Flow Processing. New Journal of Physics 10: 015013, 2008.

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Last updated: 09/27/2017
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